March 6th is World Book Day. A day when the world celebrates the joy of reading. Each of the 100 participating countries has its own way of joining in the festivities, though I'm sure there are many similarities. In the UK, children attend school dressed as characters from their favourite books and take part in special activities. They are also given a golden book token, which entitles them to choose a free book from the desginated books for that year. It always makes me happy to see them selecting their book, and I hope that perhaps that book will be the one they fall in love with, igniting a life-long passion for reading.
In celebration of World Book Day, I thought I'd share a few fact and figures pertaining to the world of books:
- The word 'book' comes from the Danish word for book, bog. Early Danes wrote on the bark from Birch trees, as opposed to the Romans who wrote on the thin layer between the bark and wood known as 'liber'.
- In 2010, Google Books calculated the total number of books ever written as 129,864,880 (Geek.com). It would take you 350,000 years to get through the TBR pile.
- According to UNESCO there have been 423,362 books published this year. In 2011, the comparable figure was 171,849.
- It it likely the question 'what is the oldest book in the world?' may never be answered. If you define it as being in printed form, some believe the Gutenberg Bible, printed in 1450, is the oldest.
- The largest bookstore in the world is the World's Largest Bookstore in Toronto, Cananda. The Three storey building covers 64,000 square feet and has over 20 kilometres of shelving. Sadly, the store was recently sold and will soon close. Four resturants will replace it.
- 2014 is the 17th World Book Day.
I'm not sure about you, but I feel sad that the world's largest bookstore is closing. I could have spent a few days in there!
Are you doing anything to celebrate World Book Day? Do you know any unusual book facts you'd like to share with us?